"Henry" Seishiro Okazaki

Danzan Ryu Jujutsu was founded by "Henry" Seishiro Okazaki. He was born in Japan on January 28, 1890, and moved to Hawaii as a teenager. At 16, Okazaki learned he had tuberculosis. He dedicated himself to martial arts and recovered completely, which led him to dedicate his life to propagating jujutsu and judo. He created the Danzan Ryu style in 1927-28 by synthesizing several older styles of jujutsu, along with elements of Okinawan karate, Chinese wu-shu, Hawaiian lua, Filipino escrima, and western boxing and wrestling.

Danzan Ryu takes its name from the sweet-smelling Sandlewood trees found on Hawaiian mountains. The name translates as Cedar Mountain or Sandlewood Mountain style. Okazaki's dojo, Kodenkan, means "the school of the ancient tradition." The method of instruction requires senior students to teach less advanced students in the spirit that Master Okazaki declared was inherent in the Hawaiian word Kokua: "to mutually help one another." Okazaki also taught traditional Japanese restorative massage, or seifukujutsu, at the sanitarium where he made his living.

The Jujutsu Club @ UMD began during the Fall of 2010 as a student club and was also established as an official AJJF dojo. In Fall of 2012, a one credit PE course was added into the equation. As you can see from the lineage graphic above, The Jujutsu Club @ UMD is the third AJJF dojo in northern Minnesota and one of four currently operating in the state.

The AJJF has a tradition of cooperative efforts across dojos and the Minnesota dojos exemplify this practice, frequently working together to create the best possible environment to foster Danzan Ryu Jujutsu. The UMD dojo would not exist without the direct assistance of Ward Melenich and Sohn Wehseler and several of their students at the Kuroinukan as well as kokua provided by the other Minnesota dojos and the wider AJJF community.

Minnesota Dojos:

Hayashi No Dojo, established in Cloquet, MN - 1984.

Kuroinukan established in Duluth, MN - 1987.

Shinzen Kai established in St. Paul MN - 2000 (previously established in Eugene, Oregon - 1979).

Jujutsu Club @ UMD established in Duluth. MN - 2010.

Full AJJF Dojo List

Comprehensive (but one-dimensional) Danzan Ryu lineage: www.danzan.com lineage tree